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OpenAI API pricing

Understanding OpenAI API Pricing and Tokens: A Comprehensive Guide

The OpenAI API offers various engines, each with distinct capabilities and performance levels, to cater to different content generation requirements. To help users choose the best engine for their needs, OpenAI has introduced a pricing structure based on tokens. In this article, we’ll explore the pricing of the different OpenAI engines, explain the concept of tokens, and provide guidance on selecting the most suitable option for your content generation needs.

OpenAI API Pricing

OpenAI’s GPT-3 model consists of four engines: Ada, Babbage, Curie, and Da Vinci. Each engine has a specific price per 1,000 tokens, as follows:

  • Ada: Fastest, $0.0004 / 1K tokens
  • Babbage: $0.0005 / 1K tokens
  • Curie: $0.0020 / 1K tokens
  • Da Vinci: Most powerful, $0.0200 / 1K tokens


The Building Blocks of Content Generation Tokens, in the context of the OpenAI API, are the individual pieces that make up words or language components. In general, 1,000 tokens are equivalent to approximately 750 words. For example, the introductory paragraph of this article consists of 35 tokens.

Tokens are essential for determining the cost of using the OpenAI API. When generating content, both input and output tokens count towards the total number of tokens used. It is crucial to keep track of token usage to manage costs effectively and ensure you remain within your allotted budget.

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Choosing the Right Engine Based on Tokens and Pricing Selecting the most suitable engine for your content generation needs involves balancing cost, performance, and the desired level of creativity or comprehension. Here’s a brief overview of each engine’s capabilities to help you make an informed decision:

  • Ada: The fastest and most cost-effective engine, Ada is ideal for simple tasks that don’t require high levels of comprehension or creativity.
  • Babbage: Slightly more expensive than Ada, Babbage offers better content generation capabilities for straightforward tasks without the need for deep comprehension or creative input.
  • Curie: With better performance than Ada and Babbage, Curie is well-suited for creative tasks such as ideation, summarization, or writing. It provides a balance between quality and cost-effectiveness.
  • Da Vinci: As the most powerful engine, Da Vinci excels in handling complex tasks, such as content synthesis, reasoning, and problem-solving. It is the best choice for generating high-quality, nuanced content.

Understanding OpenAI API pricing and the concept of tokens is vital for choosing the most appropriate engine for your content generation needs. By carefully considering the balance between cost and performance, you can optimize your content generation experience and maximize the value of using the OpenAI API in our ChatGPT for WordPress plugin.

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